How annoying it is to have a lovely, sunny day at last, and have to pull all the blinds down, but I can't see the computer screen as well with the sun streaming in.
Remember I told you that the DVD containing all the scanned artwork from my current project Dragon's Dinner had arrived from the publisher last week (see An Artwork Day)? Well, now I've finished the other bits and bobs I had to do, my next job is to do the 'finishing' work. That means going through the digital versions of my illustrations one by one, firstly checking for any anomalies or smudges, and touching up anything I'm unhappy with.
Then I knock out any pink backgrounds, using Photoshop (remember my pink paper? see Tracing Up The Cover of Dragon's Dinner). This means we can later choose different colour backgrounds to drop in, like this. I don't have to do this 'finishing' stage, the designer does it for most people, but I like to do it myself as it's a bit more tricky than usual, because of the pastels. I have to be careful to preserve the uneven chalk edges on objects, and the dappled pastel texture of shadows etc. If you look at this close up of the dragon's ear, you can see what I mean. Fortunately there are some very clever tools in Photoshop that make this possible. How did we cope before computers!?!
Unfortunately, I noticed straight away that there is a problem: the scans have small faults in them - tiny lines running vertically through the images in places. I phoned my designer at Hodder, Jennifer Stephenson, and we decided I would try and touch them up on the computer, to save the delay of having to send them back to be done all over again.
Luckily, that seems to be going ok. There are an awful lots of images to work my way through though, so I suppose I'd better get on with it. At least little Maddy is allowed back in now (see Cats and Pastels Don't Mix!), so she has been sitting on my lap this morning, while I work. Oh, and it also seems to be raining now - hurrah!